What New Yorkers need to know about their ballots for Election Day

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After a big turnout for the primary, the New York City Board of Elections has "Presidential election level staffing" for Tuesday's midterm. If you want to make sure your vote counts, there are some things you need to know about this year’s ballot before you head to the polls.

In addition to voting for candidates, New York City registered voters have some big measures on the back of this year‘s ballot.

Campaign Finance Changes: 

“This proposal would amend the City Charter to lower the amount a candidate for City elected office may accept from a contributor. It would also increase the public funding used to match a portion of the contributions received by a candidate who participates in the City’s public financing program. In addition, the proposal would make public matching funds available earlier in the election year to participating candidates who can demonstrate need for the funds. It would also ease a requirement that candidates for Mayor, Comptroller, or Public Advocate must meet to qualify for matching funds. The amendments would apply to participating candidates who choose to have the amendments apply to their campaigns beginning with the 2021 primary election, and would then apply to all candidates beginning in 2022.”

If approved, this would limit the amount a single donor can give to candidates and raise the public matching funds from 6-1 to 8-1 for every dollar donated up to the first $175.

Appointing a Civic Engagement Committee:

“This proposal would amend the City Charter to: Create a Civic Engagement Commission that would implement, no later than the City Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2020, a Citywide participatory budgeting program established by the Mayor to promote participation by City residents in making recommendations for projects in their communities; Require the Commission to partner with community based organizations and civic leaders, as well as other City agencies, to support and encourage civic engagement efforts; Require the Commission to establish a program to provide language interpreters at City poll sites, to be implemented for the general election in 2020; Permit the Mayor to assign relevant powers and duties of certain other City agencies to the Commission; Provide that the Civic Engagement Commission would have 15 members, with 8 members appointed by the Mayor, 2 members by the City Council Speaker and 1 member by each Borough President; and Provide for one of the Mayor’s appointees to be Commission Chair and for the Chair to employ and direct Commission staff.”

Term limits on Community Board Members:

“This proposal would amend the City Charter to: Impose term limits of a maximum of four consecutive full two-year terms for community board members with certain exceptions for the initial transition to the new term limits system; Require Borough Presidents to seek out persons of diverse backgrounds in making appointments to community boards. The proposal would also add new application and reporting requirements related to these appointments; and If Question 2, “Civic Engagement Commission,” is approved, require the proposed Civic Engagement Commission to provide resources, assistance, and training related to land use and other matters to community boards.”

That’s why mayor Bill de Blasio spend more than $100 million and a voter education campaign reminding voters to turn over the ballot when they vote.

In addition to turning over the ballot, voters will also have to turn to page two.  This is the first time New York has had a two page ballot.  New York City Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan says the BOE is prepared to deal with any problems that might occur as a result.

"Certainly we have more techs out in the field because higher volume, higher potential for ballots to jam.  Two pages, higher potential for ballots to jam," he said.

It's why Ryan says the BOE has presidential election level staffing in place for the midterm.

To double check your polling location for tomorrow’s vote head over to https://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/search

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